Catholic Schools agreements Approved by FWC
The new collective agreements for Diocesan and Religious Institute (RI) schools have been Approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Approval of the agreements means the implementation of the provisions of the new agreements can occur.
Significant new provisions for members include measures to protect planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT), maximising hours and income for term time employees, and improved access to the school officer qualifications allowance.
Fair Work Commission Approval
The FWC Approved both agreements last Thursday, 25 August 2016. Each agreement comes into legal force seven (7) days after the date of Approval. This means that all provisions of the agreement come into effect from Thursday, 1 September 2016. The nominal expiry date is 30 June 2019.
Some specific provisions, such as wage increases, apply from earlier nominated dates.
A number of new provisions are now to be implemented – three of these are outlined below. Information regarding their implementation and that other new provisions will be forwarded to members in the coming weeks.
Protect our PPCT
The new collective agreement contains several important changes to improve the operation of planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT) and support teachers in addressing workload concerns:
- For the first time all Catholic school primary and secondary teachers will have a formalised process to replace PPCT lost to planned school activities. Planned school activities that may require the replacement of PPCT include sports carnivals, mass or liturgies, camps and excursions, professional development sessions, parentteacher interviews, concerts or performances.
- The function of PPCT has been further clarified as activities which relate to the preparation and correction required by teachers to effectively carry out their role as a teacher.
- The schedule of PPCT is to be negotiated directly with staff in advance at your school (Diocesan schools and EREA primary departments).
More detailed information and materials to assist Chapters in ensuring this provision is implemented at their school will be sent to members shortly.
Maximising hours and income for term time members
The new Catholic collective agreement contains an important change to support term time employees in gaining access to additional work hours that may arise at their school.
This provision requires that:
- Where an employer identifies additional hours or work to be performed, the employer must, in the first instance, offer the work to an existing term time employee.
- The additional work could be either a short term or long term arrangement and could be in term time or vacation periods.
- Additional work should be provided to an existing employee unless the employer can demonstrate circumstances that would deem the allocation “impracticable”, or the additional work would exceed the employee’s maximum ordinary hours.
The provision is a significant opportunity to maximise the potential hours of work, and consequently income, for term time employees.
Middle Leader and Senior Leader members will have a significant role in helping to ensure these provisions are implemented given their role in managing and coordinating school activities. Further information will be sent to Chapters in regard to this specific provision shortly.
School officer qualifications allowance
The ability of school officers to receive the qualifications allowance has been enhanced under the provisions of the new agreement, allowing more employees to receive the allowance.
A school officer classified in levels 2 – 5 who holds the relevant qualification is eligible to receive the allowance on the basis that:
- the employee holds the minimum qualification required for the payment of the allowance at their level; and
- the employee holds a current First Aid Certificate.
Further details regarding the allowance, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be viewed here or by contacting one of our Member Services Team on 1800 177 938.
As the implementation of the new provisions commences, the engagement of all Chapter members will be crucial.
Action by Chapters at each school is necessary to ensure the full benefits of the new provisions are realised for members across the state.